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Manicured nails are having a moment. Polished nails are like their own fashion accessory that, when done well, add a finishing touch to an outfit and pull everything together. From butterfly nails to ombre to glazed donut nails, it seems there’s a new nail craze every other week and we are here for it!
The problem is that getting to the nail salon can be tiresome — and costly! Spa manicures are anything but inexpensive and keeping weekly or bi-weekly appointments can be tricky to manage with busy schedules. That’s where a gel nail kit can be a lifeline to awesome nails without making a dent in your calendar.
The best nail kits help you achieve salon-perfect nails in the comfort of your home, on your own schedule, whether you want gel nails or traditional ones. To begin, you need gel nail polish and the corresponding light source: ultraviolet or LED. Traditional nail kits contain the kind of polish we’re all used to, which doesn’t require a light for finishing but simply dries the old-fashioned way. No matter which kind you choose, at-home nail kits are cost-effective, saving you oodles over the long run on salon manicures and tips.
Here are six kits available on Amazon that can help you get started with doing your own impressive manicures.
Eternal Five-Piece Gel Nail Polish Set ($22)
This five-piece set offers a handful of glowing neon gel colors: pink, orange, yellow, coral and fuchsia — one for each finger. Each polish is highly pigmented to provide solid coverage that lasts for up to six days, according to the brand.
We like that this Eternal polish is vegan, cruelty-free and also free of 21 harmful chemicals, including, parabens, formaldehyde and phthalates. It is vegan and cruelty-free. With roughly 6,000 global ratings and an average score of 4.4 stars out of 5, it’s clearly a favorite. Several users commented on how long the polish in this gel nail kit lasts and how easy it is to remove.
Modelones Gel Nail Kit with UV Light ($35)
If you’re looking for a gel nail kit that has everything you need to get started right away, look no further than the Modelones Gel Nail Polish Kit with UV Light. It comes with seven nude gel nail colors, primer, base coat, top coat, an LED UV lamp, clippers, separators, rhinestones and more!
Currently rated as Amazon’s No. 1 seller in nail kits, this one has more than 25,000 global ratings and an average of 4.3 stars. Even better, it’s 35% off right now, selling for $34.98! Reviewer Lois N. said that since gel manicures are $40 where she lives, she “used this once and already saved money.”
Beetles Gel Nail Polish Kit with UV Light ($38)
The Beetles brand says this maroon-colored set is low-odor and safe for your skin. If dark reds don’t do it for you, the brand’s kits come in a wide array of colors at similar prices, but this plum-colored option is perfect for fall. It even comes with a gold sparkle polish.
To use, trim, file and buff nails to create a clean surface. Next, apply a thin layer of base coat and cure it under the lamp, then add your color and cure again. You can add up to three thin coats if needed, curing after each layer. Finish off with a top coat and one last cure. Then, your polish will be set, literally.
One reviewer, Amazon user Michele T., who works in beauty, said this gel nail kit is a great find. “I’m a hair stylist, so polish will never stay on. This is a game changer,” she wrote. “I can have pretty nails now. And much cheaper than a salon. Very simple to do.”
AzureBeauty 17-Piece Dip Powder Nail Kit ($22)
Create acrylic nails at home with this at-home kit that comes with everything you need to get started: eight different powders, four dip-powder liquids, a nail brush, a nail file and three brush replacements for the liquid bottles. There’s also a brush-saver liquid that helps clean your tool after you’re finished.
The colors in this anti-cracking nude-pink set are billed to last more than 21 days. To use, file, shape and buff nails before applying a base coat. Quickly dip nails into the color powder at a 45-degree angle and remove excess powder. Then, repeat powder dipping a couple more times and air dry for 30-60 seconds before applying the activator liquid, air drying and applying two costs of top coat, air drying in between.
Several reviewers said this acrylic dip powder kit was easy to use and that they liked the sheerness of the colors.
One woman who reviewed the set for Amazon said she felt this kit provided a nice manicure on a budget. “This product is easy to complete, even if you are doing your own nails,” the woman wrote. “The colors are soft and beautiful. I’ve worn mine for over a week now and still no signs of chipping or lifting. I prefer this choice over going to town, spending an hour with the nail tech and dropping $40.
Beetles Christmas Gel Nail Kit ($16)
Get in the holiday spirit with this sparkly green, red, gold and silver gel kit. This set would be good for someone who already has a lamp, as the polishes need LED light to cure. It’s rated as an Amazon’s Choice pick and the company claims manicures will last more than 21 days when the polish is applied properly.
Customers have raved about how the color doesn’t chip or snag and have said they love how buildable the color is. One woman even liked it better than a salon manicure because the polish wasn’t as thick. As of this writing, it’s marked down more than 40% well ahead of the holiday season.
Dr.’s Remedy All-Natural Brilliant Berry Nail Polish Kit ($40)
This vegan-friendly set of nail polish is made with organic ingredients, including biotin, ginseng, tea-tree oil, garlic bulb extract and lavender. The three-pack includes Brave Berry and Mindful Mulberry, as well as the brand’s two-in-one glaze for extra shine. No lights or powders are required with this fuss-free kit. It’s currently on sale for $39.95 (down from $54).
Do you like doing your nails at home or would you rather go to a salon?
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